welcome to "newsline," i'm michio kijima in tokyo. for people in europe, finding a job is not getting any easier. and in some countries, it's just getting harder. the unemployment rate in eurozone nations remained at a record high of 10.3% in november. it shows that the region's spreading credit worries are still having a negative impact. the eu statistics office euro stat released the data friday. the figures cover the 17 nations that use the euro. joblessness was unchanged from october. that's when the eurozone recorded its highest unemployment rate since introduction of the single currency in 199999
people looking for work in spain are having the toughest go of it. the country marked the highest-ever jobless figure among member states at 22.9%. unemployment in spain was especially high among people 25 years old and younger. it hit 49.6%. the lowest unemployment rate among eurozone states was recorded in austria, at 4.0%. the u.s. has released employment data for december and the results beat market expectations. the u.s. labor department says the jobless rate dropped 8.5% from 8.7%. the previous month. the figure was better than the market forecast of about 8.7% and the lowest in almost three years. employers generated 200,000 more jobs in the nonfarm sector, which sensitive to economic trends. the transportation and warehouse
industry added 50,000 jobs. most of those gains occurred in the courier and messenger sector. michael woodford's campaign to return to the top post at olympus is over. he says his tussle with the optical equipment maker has taken too much of a toll on his family. that means he won't lead a proxy fight on behalf of some investors to push for new management and a new board of directors in the wake of the company's accounting scandal. >> if i'd come back, even with the majority, olympus' main bank and creditor wouldn't want me. didn't want me, and i don't want to see that for olympus. it would not be healthy. and it would be just the wrong way to build any future. >> olympus fired woodford in october after he pointed out hidden losses at the firm. he had planned to make a proposal to rebuild the company at the next general shareholders meeting expected in the spring.
but woodford could not get any of the major japanese institutional shareholders to support his plan for reform. they have in fact allowed the current board to carry on. he blames japanese business practices for this in something called cross-shareholding. >> i can't change that situation with the japanese institutional shareholders. the cross-shareholding, which allows this to happen where the rule is, you never criticize, as we have just seen with olympus, despite a scandal of 1.5 billion, the despite the share price at one stage being down by almost 80%. the only people who can do that are the people who are watching this on television or reading your journals. that's the japanese nation. that's the japanese public. >> woodford is now focusing on his next big fight. he's going to sue olympus for unfair dismissal. nhk world's mitsuko nishikawa tells us more about the
cross-sharing system that woodford opposes. >> cross-shareholding is a traditional japanese system that gives big banks a lot of influence on boards of directors. some of olympus' largest share holders include megabanks such as mitsubishi usa. they are often cornerstone investors in japanese blue chips. they not only lend money and make interest off those loans, they also make profits off the shares they hold. woodford says the system while clearly serving the country well in the years following the second world war is in today's world harmful due to the unwritten convention that one must never publicly criticize another. now, while woodford is giving up his fight to the reform olympus, the company is still facing other problems. tokyo police are investigating its accounting fraud. plus, there's pressure to overhaul senior management.
last month's report by an independent panel criticized the corporate climate that allowed executives to engage in illegal practices. the panel called for a clean slate. the president of olympus has promised to appoint a new management team by april. but he isn't saying whether he will stay or go. analysts say whatever happens with olympus could have an impact on the japanese market as a whole. some foreign investors could be scared off, because they might think other japanese companies are no different. >> that was nhk world's mitsuko nishikawa. u.s. president, barack obama, says the united states will boost its military strength in the asia pacific region. the increase comes even as the pentagon decreases the overall size of the u.s. armed forces. >> so our military will be leaner, but the world must know the united states is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces
that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats. >> the president is following through on defense cuts of nearly half a trillion dollars over the next decade. still, he said the u.s. will strengthen its presence in the asia-pacific region. some believe he is trying to counter the increasing strength of china. >> the united states will emphasize building the capacity of our partners and allies to more effectively defend their own territory. their own interests, through better use of diplomacy, development and security force assistance. >> panetta indicated that the u.s. will seek a larger ro for japan and other allies. an expert on military strategy in the asia-pacific region says that role for japan may be in the east china sea and the south china sea.
>> the major role that japan would play would be to shift its focus further south and it has an expertise in anti-submarine warfare and naval surface warfare. >> still, schmitt says the u.s. may find it difficult to ask its allies to do more as it cuts defense spending. so far the chinese government has given no official reaction to the new u.s. defense policy. but media coverage within the country has expressed caution. a communist party is linked newspaper, the global "times," carried a detailed report on the new strategy. a chinese expert tells the newspaper that the u.s. clearly views china a mitary rival. but he said china should remain calm and continue its development for the coming decade. the state-run news agency and communist party's people's daily also covered the news. the article said the u.s. will boost deployment capabilities in the asia-pacific, but they did
not criticize a strategy or make any connections between the shift in u.s. policy and china. we spoke to professor suzuki of hokkaido university about the impact the new u.s. strategy will have on the geopolitical landscape. >> the united states can no longer be the policemen of the world. the united states tried to maintain leadership and try to maintain influence, but it cannot be everywhere. the other point, i think, is that there will be certain areas where there are sort of vacuum in the world order, when the united states is retreating from the middle east or global presence, then some countries which have resources will be, will have more freedom to act on its own.
the new u.s. strategy is certainly focusing on china. i think the tension between china and the united states will remain, but i think this is limited within the framework of the economic interdependence. i think, too, two countries on the list. one is vietnam and the other is myanmar. the purpose of the united states is to make sure that the, they will have the friendly countries around china. what the united states is trying to do is make sure that there is a sort of band of countries which will the support united states logistically as well as tactically. >> that was professor suzuki of hokkaido university.
the united states says it conducted a new type of nonexplosive nuclear test last year. it says it used x-rays to check the performance of the country's nuclear weapons. the u.s. national nuclear safety administration or nnsa says the test was conducted last summer at sandia national laboratories in new mexico. scientists generated intense x-ray beams to simulate a nuclear blast and observe how the plutonium reacts. the nnsa scientists say a smaller scale test was conducted last summer. labs in new mexico and nevada used gas to simulate a blast. despite critical explosions, new tests can be conducted without gun powder and with less plutonium. the critics are warning that the latest tests could be used to develop a new class of nuclear arms. the head of an atomic bomb survivor's organization criticized the new tests. >> translator: i wonder what has
become of obama's speech in prague that pledged the world free of nuclear weapons? we say no to everything nuclear. >> he called for all nuclear-related research to be halted immediately. "newsline" is the place to turn to for the latest on japan post march 11th. we have two segments offering two unique perspectives on the fallout from the earthquake and tsunami. "nuclear watch" brings you insight and information on the impact of the fukushima daiichi crisis. and "the road ahead" examines japan's efforts to recover and rebuild. don't miss "nuclear watch" and "the road ahead" on "newsline." the japanese government is seeking to pass a law that would set a 40-year limit for nuclear reactors. if enacted, it would be the first such legislation. the call for review of safety
regulations on friday was made by nuclear crisis minister, goshi hosono. it follows the first-ever nuclear power plant accident in march. >> translator: the government wants to make radical changes to its safety regulation. nuclear power will only be used when it is confirmed to be safe. >> under the plan, the working life of nuclear reactors would be limited to 40 years in principle. extensions would be subject to government checks on the obsolescence of the facility and the plant operator's capacity to provide appropriate maintenance. of the 54 nuclear reactors in japan, three have been in operation for more than 40 years, including the number one reactor at the fukushima daiichi. over the next five years, nine more will reach the 40-year mark. >> translator: we'll never let it happen again. it's highly significant that a 40-year limit has been decided on and stipulated in legislation. >> the government plans to submit a bill by the end of this month.
the japanese government and ruling democratic party agreed on a plan to raise the country's consumption tax. the decision was made at a meeting friday of a task force on social services. the increase is intended to support ballooning social security costs. the plan calls for a two-stage rise in the consumption tax to 8% from the current 5% in april of 2014, and to 10% in october, 2015. it also proposes posterity measures including the reduction in the number of diet members and salary cuts for public servants. >> translator: the plan shouldn't end up being no more than a drug. a unified reform of taxes on and social security is an issue that no administration can afford to ignore. i'm asking opposition parties to cooperate. i will do my utmost to forge an agreement. >> the government aims to submit related bills on the tax
increase before the end of march. young asian consumers with money in their pockets are getting a taste for beer. they make an attractive target for breweries from japan. nhk world's yuko funazaki reports. >> reporter: in a fashionable bar with a superb night view, trendy singaporeans are increasingly choosing cool japanese beers. >> it's got a very unique taste. definitely one of the best i've ever drank. >> reporter: japanese beer makers are stepping up efforts to expand fast-growing asian economies. in the past, these beer markets were dominated by a mix of local and western brands. salespeople from japanese breweries found them hard to crack. >> translator: it really was an uphill battle.
when we first came here, we hardly received any orders. >> reporter: but a bit of patience and a lot of hard work eventually paid off. after six months, there were 500 retailers in singapore selling kirin beer. the companies now focus on mergers and acquisitions. it formed the singapore-based task force of specialists with experience doing businesses overseas. on this day, a managing director of business and investment banker in charge m&a. the task force travels all over asia, gathering up-to-date information from bankers and business people. since 2009, kirin has made acquisitions in five asia-pacific countries. its rivals are also on the hunt.
asaki has invested in four countries, and suntory in three. >> translator: historically, gdp and beverage sales grow in proportion. for example, indonesia and the philippines are good potential markets for beverage-makers. >> reporter: another japanese beer company is trying to nurture a new market by building its own manufacturing facilities. in late november, sapporo began production in a suburb of ho chi minh city. it's the first plant in southeast asia owned by a japanese beer company. and it has a production of 40,000 kiloliters a year. sapporo plans to increase output four-fold to level that can match its plants in japan. the economy is expanding fast.
it's a young country where the average age is just 27. beer consumption is rising more than 10% a year. and the country is soon expected to overtake japan to become asia's second largest beer market after china. >> translator: economic growth, the increasing population and the numbers of consumers who love beer, when i think of these factors, i think succeeding in vietnam is necessary. we need to put every effort into our success. >> reporter: for beverage companies trying to expand outside japan, asian markets are critical to success. competition is heating up in the race to persuade asian consumers to choose a cold japanese beer. yuko funazaki, nhk world. japan has asked netherlands and australia to take tough
measures against anti-whaling protesters who interfere with the japanese research whaling operation in the antarctic ocean. >> translator: the obstructions are totally unacceptable. japan has asked the two countries through diplomatic channels to take effective action to stop any further obstruction. >> kano's remark comes a day after a vessel belonging to the sea shepherd conservation society disrupted a japanese whaling ship in the antarctic. the first such incidents related this season. the netherlands-registered boat is based in australia. japan's research whaling vessels have failed to reach their quotes in recent years, due to anti-whaler's activities. kano said he hoped to achieve the target figure this season and said the fisheries agency surveillance ship is accompanying the whaling fleet and the coast guard is also providing help. japanese authorities are questioning a group of men suspected of being north koreans
found on a small boat in the sea of japan on friday. the vessel is now anchored off the oki islands. police were alerted to the boat by a local resident. when coast guard officials later searched the vessel, they found three men on board. thought to be in their 20s and 40s. they also found a body. during questioning, the men said they had left the north korean port in mid december to fish. but that the boat's engine had broken down. they are reported to have said they were not trying to defect. the coast guard said if their story is true, it will be the first time a north korean boat has been found drifting in japanese waters not carrying defectors. sources say if the three men want to return to north korea, japanese immigration authorities will probably give them permission to enter japan and will then fly them to china from where they will return home. now here's a quick look at some stories making headlines across the middle east. foreign minister saleh said
iran is not concerned about the european union's move to impose new sanctions. eu officials are making final adjustments on their plan to impose an embargo on crude oil imports. iranian commanders have warned they can close the strait of hormuz. tankers pass through the waterway of the straits of hormuz. business leaders say they would consider taking military action if iran tries to close the strait. defense secretary phillip hammond says any attempt would be illegal and would fail. a senior u.s. official has expressed support for the arab league's monitoring mission in syria. u.s. assistant secretary of state, jeffrey feltman met on thursday with arab league secretary-general, nabil el arabi. arab league monitors have been working in syria since last month to investigate the crackdown by the president bashar al assad's administration. and have been criticized for failing to halt the violence. egyptian prosecutors have
sought the death penalty for hosni mubarak. the former president ruled egypt for three decades. the petition came during mubarak's trial in cairo. the ousted leader is accused of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising last year against his rule. the security forces killed more than 800 demonstrators during the crackdown. mubarak has consistently denied the charge. the next trial session is scheduled for monday. rachel ferguson is up next with weather. time to see what the weekend has in store weatherwise. we're going to go straight first to the philippines. i want to show you some video coming out of mindanao, steady streams of precipitation and moisture have resulted in some deadly landslides in mindanao. this is actually a gold mining site here that was struck on thursday. at least 25 people were killed. more than 100 people are
believed to still be buried in the rubble. the search for victims yesterday on thursday had to be suspended for fear that further mudslides would occur with the heavy rain. but you can see now the rains earlier on today and the soldiers involved here helping to dig for survivors. so just a terrible situation here. and unfortunately, it doesn't look like the rain is going to be alleviated any time soon. we have more heavy rain coming into the eastern coast of the philippines, including down in towards the south. the rain will be accompanied by strong winds, bringing those waves up to about five meters as well. so very high waves here, more heavy rain and of course, that does mean there will be an increased risk of further landslides and flooding. elsewhere on the continent here it's looking very dry indeed. we're going to be seeing some stormy conditions actually moving up into northern japan. so the western precipitation is going to abate, it's going to be
very dry for much of the west f. but it's going to be fairly unsettled here up towards the north. more heavy snow and some storms there, too, friday night into saturday. here are your temperatures, we have 8 in tokyo, 1 in seoul and minus one in beijing. temperatures starting to rebound towards the south, hong kong getting up to 17 degrees after a chilly spell and taipei back up to 19. we go now to europe. now it has just been such a stormy picture here for the last several weeks. we're getting a bit of a break in the precipitation. anywhere from iberia up through in towards western russia. just now. that is apart from this area of snow which is going to keep coming. extremely heavy amounts of snow, 70 to 80 centimeters forecast of fresh snow coming into the austrian alps, adding to the snow you've already had. causing a bit of a problem for some resorts. the british isles getting a bit of a break on friday, it will be
nice and sunny for much of england and wales, but cloudy and showery as well for parts of northern ireland and scotland, certainly. you can see it's still going to be quite breezy here as well. if i step out of the way, you can see this big storm here over the balkan peninsula. this one will be bringing gusts exceeding 100 kilometers per hour. stacks of snow in the upper elevations and thunderstorms towards the south. and that's all going to be heading in towards turkey saturday through sunday. so starting to see things recovering for the western balkans, as we head through the weekend. but it has to go somewhere. and it is going to be pushing east. temperatures then, we have 9 in london, 11 in paris, 12 in madrid, we're not doing too badly out here to the west. you can see the figures start to drop away into the single digits and the lower single digits by the time we hit central and eastern locations. up in stockholm, minus 2 is your high. here is your extended forecast.
once again, the top stories at this hour. the unemployment rate in eurozone nations remained at a record high of 10.3% in november. it shows that the region's spreading credit worries are still having a negative impact. the eu statistics office, euro stat, released the data friday. the figures cover the 17 nations that use the euro, joblessness was unchanged from october, when the eurozone recorded its highest unemployment rate since the introduction of the single currency in 1999. people looking for work in spain are having the toughest go of it. the country marked the highest-ever jobless figure among member states at 22.9%.
unemployment in spain was especially high among people 25 years old or younger. it hit 49.6%. the lowest unemployment rate among eurozone states was recorded in austria at 4.0%. the u.s. has also released its employment data for december. the results beat market expectations. the u.s. labor department says the jobless rate dropped to 8.5%, from 8.7% the previous month. the figure was better than the market forecast of about 8.7%, the lowest in almost three years. employers generated 200,000 more jobs in the nonfarm sector, which is sensitive to economic trends. the transportation and warehouse industry added 50,000 jobs. most of those gains occurred in the courier and messenger sector. that's our broadcast for this hour on "newsline." we'll be back with more news in half an hour. i'm michio kijima in tokyo. thank you for watching, bye-bye.